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creating a warm place for strays?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have a stray that has adopted my porch a while ago. i have gotten her vet attention, as she is friendly. she jsut wants NO PART of being inside the house ( tried that, BIG MESS).

so i let her have access to my porch. she has food, water and a bed to sleep in. Last year i got the bright idea to get a med sized dog kennel, and line it with plastic, then felt. then i got a Coleman pet sleeping bag, and use that, and she LOVES it, creates a warm cave, and shes in there constantly. i got it at biglots for $10. and its machine washable, i wash it once a week at the laundry mat.


i tried the mats that supossedly keep the body heat in, and she never cared for it, this she loves!.

I also notice that she lets her boyfriend ( a huge male gray and white tux) in sometimes to eat and stay with her. shes spayed, so no problems about him. he is soooo sweet, but shy. he wont let me pet him, but dosent mind me being around him, if i get to close tho, he bolts. She will share her food bowl and water with him, but no one else, she chases any other cat away,lol. So i make sure they always have plenty of food and water ( i use a heated dog water bowl so its always fresh and never iced over).

I was thinking. last winter, i gave her kitten food,for the extra calories with it being cold. Should i do that again this year?
post #2 of 6
Thank you for taking care of these angels.

Every winter I mix kitten food in with the adult food, about a 1 - 3 ratio. As the winter gets colder, I slowly mix in more kitten food. I don't want to upset their stomachs with a richer food quickly.

I like the idea of the dog kennel! I will try that in my backyard. I always make a shelter using a tupper-tub and an old blanket. Always make sure there is a backdoor tho!
post #3 of 6
Sweets gave great advice, and I echo her gratitude to you for caring for these angels. My ex and I built several cathouses out of 1x4's and plywood, put cat donut beds in the sleeping chambers (each of which had a plexiglass window) and made the verandahs large enough for several large bowls of food, water, and sometimes wet food. They loved 'em and they were great shelters in wintertime! We mounted one to our fence, two to our house, and one was a portable on raised 2x4's which we had in front of the house. Then we built a "recuperation station" of the above, chicken wire, and corrugated tin for the roof, with a locking door, for homeless cats in our neighborhood as we got each one "fixed" and baseline innoculations. It gave a cat a warmish, secure, safe place to stay in our back yard while recuperating; we built ramps, a couple of sleeping chambers, and had trapdoors with hooks to the elevated feeding area so we could replenish food and water without entering, if necessary (right next to the sleeping chambers) and to the litterbox, which could be pulled out to clean. It was a godsend for us, and over the years, we got around 20 cats "fixed" and adopted them; and kittens adopted out through a local rescue.
post #4 of 6
I made one of those "rubbermaid tub" beds with the straw inside it and a wool blanket on top of the straw...my cats already had heated beds, but Cricket prefers it.
I made it for the stray that wasn't actually a stray.

They're super easy to make, cheap, and rainproof, in case they aren't under shelter.
post #5 of 6
ooh this sounds like a good idea. i know most outdoor shelter-construction says to use straw inside since it still works if it gets wet, but if you can be reasonably certain it won't get wet, this would be a good idea.

my problem is i live in brooklyn and have no idea where to get straw (no car either). i've been constructing storage tub shelters with a styrofoam cooler inside, sealed seams and (my favorite) expanding foam to fill in the gaps. i currently use the self-warming pads, which has been such a hit in and outside the house i went ahead and ordered the raw materials to make my own.

also i broke down and ordered the kit from FeralVilla for my favorite feral. now if i can only be sure he'll use it!
post #6 of 6
Hey, straw can be bought for 4 to 5 dollars for a MINI hay bale at
a CRAFT store, LOL. I found my at Michael's Craft store. Ben Franklin
and other such stores will also sell, esp at this time of year. But HURRY
and get them NOW. One mini bale will make enough straw for about
1 / 2 tupper wear shelters, esp if you put styrofoam on the bottom
of the container. I can post pics of mine on my flickr page - when I finish making my 3rd one!
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